Leaves falling, autumn calling..
Updated: Nov 29, 2018
The few first days of fall, I figured I'd share my Balkan Bean stew. This bean stew recipe is ALL about comfort. The stew begins with boiling the beans or soaking them in cold water overnight. The hearty stew is called "Grah" in Bosnian, which simply means dried beans. Spices, vegetables, and meat are further added and the stew cooks to its own rhythm until the beans soften and the stew achieves a certain thickness. This is a perfect dish for the colder, winter days but honestly it can be an all year round stew, it's just THAT good.
½ pound great northern or other dried beans
1 large onion
4 baby carrots or 2 medium carrots chopped
Beef Sausage (add amount by choice)
Smoked meat (add amount by choice)
½ cup olive oil (roux)
2 tablespoons of Vegeta
Salt to taste (optional)
1 teaspoon of pepper
2 tablespoons paprika (roux)
3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour (roux)
1. Wash and rinse the beans. Then boil the beans in a pot or soak them in cold water overnight or for about 3 hours.
2. Drain the beans and discard the water.
3. In a pot where you will be making the stew, add one onion (cut in half), beef sausage, smoked meat, and 4 baby carrots chopped and transfer the boiled beans to the pot as well.
4. Add water to the stew pot where it is about almost full. Occasionally check if water level has decreased and add additional water to always keep the same level of liquid in the pot.
5. Keep the heat on medium and let the beans and ingredients cook, checking in every 25 minutes.
6. *Do NOT mix the stew at all to prevent breakage of the beans.
7. After about 2 hours of boiling on medium, check if the beans are done – squeeze them with a fork. If they are soft and creamy and the peel comes right off then they are done.
8. If they are not soft and creamy after about two hours, continue cooking beans until they are soft, keeping the water level at the same level.
9. In the meantime, get the roux ready. In a small pan, add olive oil and let it heat. Once the oil is heated, add the flour..stir, and then the paprika and stir. Make sure you do this all while whisking the mixture to prevent it from burning. The mixture should look reddish-brown when finished.
10. Once the beans are soft, add the roux by slowly pouring it in. Stir JUST a little bit to prevent the roux from clumping. The roux will thicken the liquid evenly. (Optional: add minced garlic to the roux.)
11. Then add salt, pepper, and vegeta. Taste the stew and add additional spices if not salty enough.
12. Simmer for another 30 minutes to allow the spices to settle in.
13. Serve hot, alone or with bread and pickled vegetables.
Check out my insta-highlight story for step-by-step videos.
All my love,
Founder of EasternKitchn